Platforming & pathing into London Victoria (Eastern)

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cle

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I travel through here regularly, and often notice it's half empty. Quite often, only 2 platforms out of 8 will have any trains in them at all. In the peaks, there can be a full 10 minutes between any trains leaving.

It seems to me to be massively underused. What do others think?

No doubt there are pathing reasons and so on (there is always a cacophony of people telling you no!) but do forumers think it could be better used?

Certainly there are some paths in the peaks, and probably off peaks, which used to use the SLL routes. Although there is 4tph Overground to think about now.

Could more trains be pathed if there was a mix of semi-fast/skip stopping rather than the stark split of slows (via Brixton) and first stop Bromley Souths?

Could the Atlantic lines and Catford loop be used better - for both locals and fasts? Aren't some trains being proposed, but with TfL subsidy?

Might the Tanners Hill doubling help to increase services through Lewisham?
 
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Bald Rick

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Herne Hill is the main problem. Catford loop sees more trains post 2018 ex Thameslink. Lewisham is pretty full - Tanners Hill just enables trains to get there more easily, does nothing at Lewisham itself.

Much more likely is turning over one of the east side platforms to central side services.
 

30907

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I don't think Vic Eastern has seen any significant decline in traffic volume - 16 arrivals between 0800-0900 is probably getting towards capacity, the real problem has always been the mix of suburbans and main lines on both routes.
Plus the Eurostar paths for a few years.

It always was relatively quiet by Southern standards (or rather, it had plenty of platforms in proportion), and the trains were never as heavily loaded as on the SER lines.

However, there were the boat trains which tended to have 7-8 reserved for them (the inward workings being quite likely to arrive in the evening peak, and the Night Ferry in its last few years at 0750 or so instead of 0910 - though that used 2 of course).
 

cle

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Herne Hill is the main problem. Catford loop sees more trains post 2018 ex Thameslink. Lewisham is pretty full - Tanners Hill just enables trains to get there more easily, does nothing at Lewisham itself.

Much more likely is turning over one of the east side platforms to central side services.

Do you know which trains will be added from 2018 from Victoria? I thought it'd be Thameslink to Maidstone/Ashford?

Was there not a time when there were 6tph via Denmark Hill, around the Millennium? 2tph Dartford, 2tph Plumstead, 2tph London Bridge?

Seems such a waste. If platform 8 was given over to the Southern metros, I still think it would be underused and empty.
 

hwl

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I don't think Vic Eastern has seen any significant decline in traffic volume - 16 arrivals between 0800-0900 is probably getting towards capacity, the real problem has always been the mix of suburbans and main lines on both routes.
Plus the Eurostar paths for a few years.

It always was relatively quiet by Southern standards (or rather, it had plenty of platforms in proportion), and the trains were never as heavily loaded as on the SER lines.

However, there were the boat trains which tended to have 7-8 reserved for them (the inward workings being quite likely to arrive in the evening peak, and the Night Ferry in its last few years at 0750 or so instead of 0910 - though that used 2 of course).

Charing Cross manages 29 tph now and 28 after the London Bridge rebuild with 6 platforms
Cannon Street is 25tph now reducing to 22ish tph after London Bridge rebuild with 7 platforms.

A rebuild at Herne Hill after most the of the peak Thameslink services are diverted in 2018 could see Victoria with more SE services
 

Mintona

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Platform 1 is spare.
Platform 2 for Ashford.
Platform 3 and 4 for Orpington.
Platform 5 for Ramsgate.
Platform 6 for Gillingham.
Platform 7 for Dartford.
Platform 8 for Southern.

Works quite well as it is really. There isn't really capacity for extra services. The problem is the 2 track section all the way from Brixton Jn to Shortlands Jn (whichever way you go), whereas leaving Charing X/Cannon St you have 4 tracks all the way to Orpington, so a much more frequent service is possible. Whilst more trains could leave Victoria, there isn't any room for them past Brixton.
 

cle

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It's only 12tph. Southern don't use P8 in reality, it's Dartford or Gillingham (via Catford) services mainly.

Point taken on track capacity though. Although the Catford loop could stand more - if you could get to it!

Could works at Herne Hill help this?
Any scope for more passing loops/tracks like at Kent House?
 

N Levers

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It's going to be interesting on Friday 27th when Southern run 6tph out of platforms 5, 6 & 7
 

Mintona

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It's only 12tph. Southern don't use P8 in reality, it's Dartford or Gillingham (via Catford) services mainly.

Point taken on track capacity though. Although the Catford loop could stand more - if you could get to it!

Could works at Herne Hill help this?
Any scope for more passing loops/tracks like at Kent House?

Southern do use Platform 8 through most of the day, quite often see Epsom services in there.

Yeah, the Catford loop is quite empty - I'm not really sure there is a massive need for extra services though, especially off peak. A lot of trains aren't full as it is as the service provision is very good.

Work at Herne Hill could help, but it still won't mean that fast trains can get past stopping trains. It will reduce congestion between Southeastern and FCC trains though. The only way to really do it is to have fast trains booked to overtake stopping trains at Kent House, but this will increase the journey times from Beckenham Jn, Petts Wood etc. and cause more problems if the fasts are running just a few minutes late.
 

DJL

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Yeah, the Catford loop is quite empty

Really? Then why do the "fast" trains into blackfriars via the loop take so long?
I've said this many times but a fast train (37 mins) is typically only 6 mins quicker than a slow (43 mins) between SMY and BFR

I always assumed it was because the fast train was stuck behind a slow...

It can't be the line speed because I've been on trains that did it in less (30 ish mins) when there were problems elsewhere - presumably meaning that the fast train got a clear run.


The other problem to consider is that Victoria underground gets closed very frequently due to overcrowding in the morning peak.
Bringing more trains in with more commuters is not likely to help in that regard!
 

joeykins82

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The trains are empty because there are only 2tph off-peak: LO has proven a metro service of 4tph or more stimulates higher patronage because travellers know that they can turn up and go.
 

Mintona

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Really? Then why do the "fast" trains into blackfriars via the loop take so long?
I've said this many times but a fast train (37 mins) is typically only 6 mins quicker than a slow (43 mins) between SMY and BFR

I always assumed it was because the fast train was stuck behind a slow...

It can't be the line speed because I've been on trains that did it in less (30 ish mins) when there were problems elsewhere - presumably meaning that the fast train got a clear run.


The other problem to consider is that Victoria underground gets closed very frequently due to overcrowding in the morning peak.
Bringing more trains in with more commuters is not likely to help in that regard!

I was referring to the off peak, where there are 2 stopping trains and 1 fast per hour. During the peak it is much more heavily used, so I imagine some fast trains do get held behind stoppers. The line speed along there is quite variable, very up and down so this may have some bearing too.
 

Temple

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Commuting to Victoria every day, I do often see 'empty' platforms. Just last week all 1-7 platforms were empty at one point, although this was because of a late arriving Ramsgate service and shortly after 2 arrived at the same time anyway.

Having said that, I think it's fine the way it is. The platform arrangements work nicely as they are. And, as has already been said, the limited number of tracks once leaving Victoria is the real problem, as well as the bottleneck at Herne Hill. Frequently a Ramsgate train heading to Victoria will slow down from West Dulwich and sit outside Herne Hill for a minute or two.
 

Kentish Paul

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"Really? Then why do the "fast" trains into blackfriars via the loop take so long?
I've said this many times but a fast train (37 mins) is typically only 6 mins quicker than a slow (43 mins) between SMY and BFR"

Excuse my ignorance but where is SMY?
 

Temple

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"Really? Then why do the "fast" trains into blackfriars via the loop take so long?
I've said this many times but a fast train (37 mins) is typically only 6 mins quicker than a slow (43 mins) between SMY and BFR"

Excuse my ignorance but where is SMY?

It's St Mary Cray.
 

cle

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True about the Catford Loop being underused. Certainly Catford itself is very underused compared to Catford Bridge and Forest Hill - both of which have better frequencies.

Hopefully this long talked about Victoria - Bellingham/Bromley/wherever service will come, and supplement that. Denmark Hill would then be truly well served with 5tph from Victoria off peak!

And if Sevenoaks trains ran through to Thameslink all of the time (weekends) it might be better used too.

Crofton Park is also quite built up, and could be overspill from Brockley and Ladywell areas. Smartening up too as an area, so ripe for upping the service.

Not so sure about the further out stations.
 

asylumxl

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Crofton Park is also quite built up, and could be overspill from Brockley and Ladywell areas. Smartening up too as an area, so ripe for upping the service.

I often used to use Crofton Park as an alternative to Honor Oak Park, I can't say it was very busy most of the time. With people on the platform in single figures. Ofcourse this could change. To be fair, I always thought it was a decent area with some nicer smaller cafes etc.
 

yorksrob

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True about the Catford Loop being underused. Certainly Catford itself is very underused compared to Catford Bridge and Forest Hill - both of which have better frequencies.

Hopefully this long talked about Victoria - Bellingham/Bromley/wherever service will come, and supplement that. Denmark Hill would then be truly well served with 5tph from Victoria off peak!

And if Sevenoaks trains ran through to Thameslink all of the time (weekends) it might be better used too.

Crofton Park is also quite built up, and could be overspill from Brockley and Ladywell areas. Smartening up too as an area, so ripe for upping the service.

Not so sure about the further out stations.

My relatives in Catford always use Catford Bridge (as do we when visiting). I think this is because Charing Cross is so well situated for the West End (whereas the loop trains tended to be Thameslink), although sometimes they would use Bromley South for a main line train (as did we on occasions when returning to Ashford).

The relative lack of suburban services out of Vic most of the day adds to the quiet atmosphere.
 

Bald Rick

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From Borough High St to London Bridge the trackbed isn't even there, as the new viaduct across the station approach has yet to be built.

However this new pair of lines is due to be constructed and commissioned in late 2015 / early 2016.
 

hwl

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The other 2 tracks are there, they just won't be in use until 2018.

At which point there will still only be 2 tracks serving Charing Cross (the New ones) and the old ones will serve Blackfriars instead
 

yorksrob

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To be fair, even with only two tracks, Charing X is pretty much at capacity during the peaks. There are only so many trains you can fit into a six platform terminus !
 

DJL

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At least there will be some degree of redundancy once the new pair is open.
At the moment one wrong side points failure could scupper the whole lot.

I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often to be honest. They must have a higher than normal maintenance in that area or something.
 

Bald Rick

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At least there will be some degree of redundancy once the new pair is open.
At the moment one wrong side points failure could scupper the whole lot.

I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often to be honest. They must have a higher than normal maintenance in that area or something.

Not particularly; it is however low speed so the track doesn't get hammered as much. And I think you mean a points failure, as opposed to a wrong side points failure, the latter of which is VERY rare (and deeply concerning).
 

DJL

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Not particularly; it is however low speed so the track doesn't get hammered as much. And I think you mean a points failure, as opposed to a wrong side points failure, the latter of which is VERY rare (and deeply concerning).

Maybe that's the wrong terminology but what I meant was points getting stuck in the "wrong" position - i.e. so that trains can only cross lines rather than continue straight.
In most cases that would be more disruptive than if they had failed in the default position (Presumably usually this is the "straight" direction) which would still permit train to pass over the affected points even if some paths can't be accessed.

I believe a "wrong side signal failure" is when the signal gets tuck on an aspect other than it's default - i.e. stop?


And on the subject of the track being hammered - low speed or not - the frequency of trains over that section can't be good for the rails!
 
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